College programs growing in the west

Leaders for tomorrow are stepping up in big ways and want to contribute to our rivers conservation. TU is helping support and organize over 62 college clubs throughout the lower continental US.  These clubs are a testament of TU’s continued effort to support and engage a wider audience with a legitimate interest in learning more about conservation efforts. In the western region, there are a total of 14 clubs- 10 of which are located in Colorado. These college clubs all have a faculty advisor, student members, and a chapter liaison. Referred to as the TU Costa 5 Rivers Clubs, these groups must integrate events that work with 5 different pillars- conservation, fundraising, community outreach, be an ambassador for Costa del Mar, and have a TU connection.

Along with helping spread the TU mission on campus, clubs are encouraged to participate with their local chapter and TU board to coordinate outings, guest speakers, and other events.colorado college fishing

The 10 schools participating in the program are: Adams State University, Colorado College, Colorado State, Colorado Mesa College, Colorado Mountain College-Steamboat, Fort Lewis, Metro State University, Western State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Denver.

University of Utah, Utah State, University of Wyoming, and Western Washington University are the other four schools rounding out the west.

Thanks to the student leadership, these programs all are growing in size each year. For instance, CU Boulder had 20 people last school year and has now more than doubled in size with 50 students in the current year.

CU Boulder has organized at least three full weekends of weekend trips, a river cleanup, and had over 30 participants helping teach fly fishing classes to students who may have been otherwise intimidated to try and join the sport. The CU Fly Fishing Club also helped with the local TU Chapter, the Boulder Flycasters, youth night.

All the clubs are doing their part, whether it's a stream cleanup or Youtube videos made by the students at Colorado College to help spread the word about conservation and fly fishing, these individual clubs are expanding.

But it doesn't stop there.

There are also plans to expand the entire TU Costa 5 Rivers program in the west to include more than the 14 current schools. According to Andrew Loffredo, TU Costa 5 Rivers Coordinator, they are searching various universities for faculty or students that would be interested as well as relying on chapters to help expand the program.

As an annual incentive and celebration of the great work these clubs are doing, in early April 2016, western clubs will all meet along the Frying Pan River in Colorado for the 3rd annual TU Costa 5 Rivers Rendezvous. With help from the primary sponsor, Costa del Mar, these students will come together to socialize, share ideas, compete in a photo fishing scavenger hunt, and participate in an “Iron Fly” competition.

With help from CTU, Costa, chapters and local campuses, the 5 Rivers program is headed in the right direction and a new breed of young conversationalists are being molded.